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Good News! It’s Rotary Day!
Bad news seems to heavily outweigh good news every day. Pick up the paper, listen to radio or television, go on line, or however you are used to getting your news, and it seems like there are always more terrible things happening in the world then good things. “If it bleeds, it leads” is an old news axiom. Murders, wars, corruption, unemployment, poverty, ill health, foreclosures…the list goes on and on and on.
It can be pretty depressing and pretty discouraging.
But go to a Rotary meeting. You will hear of good things being done by ordinary people every day.
Ever since I wrote my book, Knowing and Loving: The Keys to Real Happiness, I have spoken to 24 Rotary Clubs in Southeast Wisconsin and Northeast Illinois. My presentation is titled: Knowing and Loving: The Keys to Real Happiness At the Core of “Service Above Self” and the “The Four Way Test.”
One of the unexpected and best parts of attending the Rotary meetings is to hear of the broad range of service projects the Rotary Clubs and their members are engaged in on a local, national, and international level. The motto of Rotary is “Service Above Self.” Projects range from working with developmentally disabled, supporting students with scholarships, raising money for food pantries, providing a safer environment and recreational opportunities for low-income children, helping build a water system in Africa, etc.. The Rotarians are always doing something which is positive and is making a contribution to the well-being of individuals and their communities.
Good News, indeed!
And what is really good news is that this is happening thousands of times a week around the world at each of the thousands of Rotary Clubs internationally.
It always reminds me of the day of the Columbine shootings a number of years ago. It was a terrible event and people were properly shocked and upset by it. But on that day of the shootings, I was meeting with a Board of a neighborhood service center in Milwaukee. We were a group of business, community, governmental, educational, and social service providers working to bring together resources to provide opportunities for people in the neighborhood to improve their own well-being as well as those of their family and in their neighborhood.
We were just one of hundreds if not thousands of community groups around the country that day having such a meeting and working together to improve the lives of many people. No news organizations covered our meeting. There were no stories in the paper recognizing all of the good things being done that day by people everywhere.
The other unexpected good news at a Rotary Club meeting is a portion of the meeting they call “Happy Dollars.” Anyone who has some good news to share makes an announcement and then throws a dollar or two into a pot. The money is used to support the various community service projects which that particular Rotary Club has undertaken. The good news that people share may be an anniversary, a new child or grandchild, a wedding, a success in business, an appearance in the news media, successful surgery, going a vacation, etc., etc. People smile and congratulate each other. Most importantly, people celebrate the good things that they are experiencing in their lives.
So, if you are looking for an organization which creates good news and celebrates all of the wonderful things we experience in our lives, join a Rotary Club in your community. I am not a Rotarian. And if I were not already committed to and working with other people on many community projects, I would join in a minute. Depending on where you are in your life, you may want to consider joining a club. You’ll have fun, do good things, and create good news. You can’t beat that!